What's Up in YA

Rival Bakeries, Jenny Han’s Media Empire, and More YA Book Talk and News: July 13, 2023

Hey YA Readers!

Have I hung up that hammock yet? The answer is…nope. But I did splurge on a wedge pillow that I’ve been using to do some YA reading in bed with, so that might be half a win.

Alas, wherever you are right now this summer (or winter below the equator), I hope you’re finding yourself wrapped in good books. If not, well, let’s see if this helps you find something to fall for.

Psst: What do S.A. Cosby, Khaled Hosseini, Sarah Bakewell, and Yahdon Israel have in common? They’ve been guests on Book Riot’s newest podcast, First Edition where co-founder Jeff O’Neal explores the wide bookish world. Subscribe to hear them and stay to hear Book Riot’s editors pick the “it” book of the month.

Bookish Goods

retro book fair sticker

Retro Book Fair Sticker by fuglybarbie

I see this sentiment all over social media, and here’s a fun sticker sharing it. I do hope folks who are chasing this high 1. know that bookstores and libraries replicate it and 2. were not the people actually bullying kids like me who always found the book fair at school to be a fun place. In either case, this sticker would look great on your goods and it’s $7.

New Releases

It’s paperback time. Let’s look at some of the best YA paperback books hitting shelves this week. As always, when you click the link you may need to toggle your view to see the paperback edition.

Want to see every paperback released this week? You can dive into the mega summer YA paperback release post over here.

bad witch burning book cover

Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis

This one gets comps to Lovecraft Country and Candyman and features a badass Black witch front and center.

Katrell has the ability to talk to the dead. It’s a cool skill but it doesn’t pay the bills, and that’s desperately what she and her family need to have happen. It does, however, rouse something from the other side, and that something tells her she needs to stop. Or else.

She’s going to test that challenge. So when Katrell does rouse someone from the dead, she’s put herself in a tough spot again. Does she use this power and newfound special ability to make a little cash? CAN she?

cafe con lychee book cover

Café con Lychee by Emery Lee

Theo Mori and Gabriel Moreno do not get along, thanks to the fact their parents own warring businesses. Theo’s folks own an Asian American café and Gabi’s, a Puerto Rican bakery. Also, Gabi sucks at soccer and that’s hurt the team more than enough to build some resentment for Theo.

Both want better for their lives, though Gabi is in the closet and doesn’t think he can do more than take over his parents’ business and Theo knows he has a lot to live up to, thanks to his parents, and in order to move on, he’ll need to make sure his parents’ business is financially secure.

It should not surprise readers who know the angles of a romance what’s going to happen when a rival bakery is ready to set up shop in town. Gabi and Theo realize they have more in common than not.

I’ve not gotten the chance to read this one yet, but it sounds fun and delicious.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

YA Book News

Stay cool as we enter the ongoing hottest stretch of the season and we’ll see you on Saturday with some cool ebook deals.

Until then, happy reading!

–Kelly Jensen, currently reading and obsessed with Just Do This One Thing For Me by Laura Zimmerman

Also if you’ve made it this far, I launched my own personal substack to slowly offboard from the sinking Twitter ship. You can give me a follow there if you’d like more!